The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has raised its Coronavirus (Covid-19) alert to very high, following reports of imported cases in the Caribbean.
In a statement yesterday, Carpha said it upgraded the risk level of transmission of Covid-19 in the Caribbean region to very high, based on international assessment guidelines, particularly in keeping with risk assessment for mers-cov and pandemic influenza.
Carpha Executive Director, Dr. Joy St. John stated that the decision is also informed by reports of Covid-19 cases in non English-speaking Caribbean countries in close proximity to Carpha member states.
Another factor is sustained transmission of the disease in countries with direct flights into the Caribbean region.
Additionally, multiple countries outside the original epicentre of Wuhan City are reporting an increasing number of confirmed cases; while significantly more new cases are being reported from countries outside of china, than there are new cases in china.
These recent situations are of concern, and Carpha member states are strongly urged to increase their surveillance mechanisms and to be ready to implement their national pandemic preparedness plans, which have been modified to address Covid-19.
Currently there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease, neither is there a specific treatment.
Dr. St. John said the best way to prevent illness, is to avoid being exposed to the virus, and follow simple everyday preventive actions, such as proper hygiene.